CT fear

I know it’s got to be done but I’m very nervous of my forthcoming oncology appointment! Had WLE and SNB March 22nd without too many nerves but I hate small spaces and the thought of the scanner is haunting me. Is it a very enclosed space? I know it’s irrational but I can’t help myself! Have to go on my own too because Hubbie is away and says there’s no point in coming back ‘just for a planning appointment’.

Hi Soobee,is this for your Radiotherapy planning appt?I get panic attacks when I feel trapped and also hate confined spaces but I found the CT planning scan no problem at all.It is like a big donut only about 2ft long ,you slide in and out on a bed a few times and it only lasts a few minutes ,you are never completely enclosed and there is lots of space around you .I went to my GP and asked for some Valium to help with these appts ,but my appointment was really delayed and the effects had worn off by the time I went in .The radiographers talk to you all the time and the majority of the time is taken up with them taking measurements and not with you in the scanner.

I took one but as I said it had worn off ,they couldn’t find my notes and kept me waiting for 2hrs !! I think just the whole thing is rather overwhelming and that makes you more inclined to feel panicky .The actual CT scan part is really not that bad at all and only lasts 5 mins at the most and I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all.Most of the appt is spent with the technicians measuring you up and brief time having scan .

Hi Soobee, as everyone has said, the CT scanner is open, so that should help. I’m a bit of a wuss with all this machinery, so I use yoga breathing exercises just to focus and block everything out. Works for me. Also, I keep my eyes closed and just visualise me and hubby on Glammy hols when all this is over.

Actually, I’m having the biggest ‘I cicked  crap out of cancer’ party when this is over, so spend time planning that big bash! ???.  Hoping you manage. It’s another step on the way to health. Good luck. X

Soobee - CT scan is as the others have said, easy compared to MRI. It’s not as bad as the surgery either, so if you’ve coped with that, you will have no problem with radiotherapy planning.


Firstly, there is no cannula as they don’t inject any dye for the CT scan, although during the planning session you will have three small tattoos. These are to guide the radiographers when they position you on the machine. They are just small (ish) dots, one between your breasts and one at the side of each breast just below the armpits. There should be very little pain, but if you really can’t face tattoos, ask if you can have indelible pen marks instead.


Secondly, you are on your back when you go through the big white doughnut, and it isn’t enclosed, so a CT scan is nowhere near as uncomfortable as a MRI scan where you are going through a large enclosed tube face down. You have your arms raised above your head during the CT scan, but as long as you’ve been doing the exercises you should be fine.


Thirdly, it only takes a few minutes to go through the CT scanner, and there are no horrible loud noises as with the MRI, like there are road menders in the room.


I hope this helps.

Thank you everyone. Feeling a bit better about it now. I have to go on my own but not dreading it quite as much.

thank you for being there

When is your appointment?

Hi, I have finished my radiotherapy today. I too had a WLE  and lymph nodes removed. The CT scan is not in a enclosed space like a MRI scan. You are on the same treatment couch/bed for the CT scan that you will be for all your 15 radiation treatments. I too was scared as I suffer panic attacks. I chose to close my eyes during the scan. There is nothing to be scared of. Have you watched the scan being done on YOUTUBE? I found that reassuring. All the staff will be very understanding. Tell them you are scared when you arrive and they will help you. As to the radiation itself. I again closed my eyes and took the time to think about any remaining cancer cells leaving my body. It will be over  sooner than you think. All the best and be positive if you can, Kathy

Does it matter for this initial appointment that I’m still bruised and some of the glue is still stuck fast? 

If they think you are still too swollen /bruised the radiographers may ask for advice from Oncologist .Occasionally they do put start date back as you have to be well healed to cope with the radiation .